Almond, fire boards urge merger

Almond, fire boards urge merger

On Dec. 5, residents of Saylesville and Albion will vote on whether to merge their fire districts into one. (Breeze photos by Nicole Dotzenrod)
Residents to vote Dec. 5

LINCOLN – After more than a year of preparation and a six-month delay due to the coronavirus pandemic, the decision of whether or not to merge two of Lincoln’s fire districts will soon be put to voters.

On Saturday, Dec. 5, residents of Albion and Saylesville will cast votes to determine whether their fire districts will be consolidated into one district, to be called the Lincoln Fire Department.

Town Administrator Joseph Almond, who has voiced full support for combining the districts, said this is a step toward having a single, unified fire district for the entire town.

Almond said merging each of Lincoln’s individual fire district charters into a single, town-wide department is “the most desirable path forward.”

Lincoln’s fire safety needs have changed over time, he said, and while separate districts for each village made sense at one time, maintaining individual fire districts has resulted in staffing inefficiencies and duplicated spending on equipment.

“The rising cost to provide professional emergency services cannot be responsibly sustained by small individual fire districts,” he said.

The Saylesville Fire District previously consolidated with the former Fairlawn and Lonsdale Fire Districts.

Almond said merging Albion and Saylesville makes sense financially, and ensures more equitable fire protection services across town.

“Approval of this merger will provide the residents and taxpayers of both districts with improved service while creating an opportunity to realize better cost efficiencies moving forward,” he said.

Both fire chiefs have expressed their full support of the merger, as well as members of the Saylesville Board of Fire Wardens and Albion Board of Fire Commissioners.

A letter signed by members of both boards that oversaw the consolidation plan said each district is looking to “seize the opportunity to propel the organization to new heights of operational efficiency in providing emergency services to the district taxpayers.”

“The benefits are many and the drawbacks few,” the letter reads. “Financially, each district weighs a relative balance of assets and debt. The physical and human resources are quite similar and the vision is firmly aligned toward bringing these two districts closer to a lean model of operations common in the 21st century.”

Comments

on making it to this point. We just have to get the Votes now. Hopefully, in the future the entire town will be one Fire Department.

Why is Quinnville Fire District not part of this merger discussion? With respect to the firefighter of this district, this district has outlived its usefulness. How did we as taxpayer of this district authorize the purchase of new engine?

Enough is enough with all the wasted spending with all these separate districts. There is no need for all the separate chiefs and this many stations in this town. It is an antiquated system that needs to be streamlined and updated.

Where will the consolidated fire department be located? I like that the Saylesville firehouse is only a mile from my house.

town hall would be a great location for a public safety complex. hopefully, this will be considered someday.

I believe the point here is looking at all the Departments and having one or two instead of 5.